Not playing for the Devils is not playing for the Devils. Whether sitting on his ass or working in some unrelated business or playing for a non-competing hockey team on the other side of the world makes no difference. None of it has any impact on the Devils.
I didn't say anything to the contrary. lol
I'm just not going to pretend his retiring was anything but a legal maneuver.
Not exactly. NHL players are allowed to retire. They have every right to, "decide one day, nevermind...". Regardless of whether doing so makes Kovy a dick or not, two wrongs don't make a right. You might speculate that had the Devils wanted to block him from playing in the KHL, he might have stayed with them, but I could just as easily speculate that the Devils wanted out of the deal themselves. Going on the assumption that he wasn't going to play in NJ regardless, then allowing or not allowing him to play in the KHL doesn't have any impact on the Devils. There's no reason to block it except out of spite.
And it isn't detrimental to the organization at all. It may become detrimental if Kovy wants to come back to the NHL and the Devils in fact no longer retain any rights to him and he can still play up to the level of his previous contract and the Devils would indeed want him and his contract back. That's a lot of ifs.
Of course players are allowed to retire. But Kovy didn't retire. He "retired". He used it as a legal maneuver to get out of his contract. It's not the same.